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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jens Risom

I started this blog September 6, 2010. Some of you have been readers since the beginning. Others have come on board later. From now through the end of the month, I'm going to be on a short blogging break. Not only am I in the middle of a big volunteer project, I'm also trying to help get the new store open, so I've decided share some of my favorite posts from the past four years. I'll throw in a few new photos for you longtime supporters who read the posts when they were first published.

(First posted 10/31/2010)

Jens Risom (1916- ) studied interior and furniture design at the Arts and Crafts Academy of Copenhagen, graduating in 1937. In 1939, he immigrated to the United States where he established himself as a proponent of the Scandinavian Modern style, which, at the time, had not yet achieved popularity.

That changed in 1940, when his design for a model house in New York's Rockefeller Center attracted widespread attention, generating both publicity and commissions, among them the distinction of being the first person invited to design furniture for Hans Knoll.

One of Risom's most recognizable designs is the birchwood chair (1941), which was made of molded birch and army surplus webbing. It is still in production today in a variety of colors. He is also known for his sculptural tables, chairs and sofas which had a lip that edged over an open base, giving the piece the illusion of floating.

After the Second World War, Risom founded his own furniture business, Jens Risom Design. He served as chief designer until 1973, when he sold his company to Dictaphone. He then moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where he founded a consultancy studio called Design Control. It is still active.


Lounge chair




Magazine table

Slipper chair

3-seater sofa

Chair and ottoman

Side table

Love seat

Risom's Rhode Island residence

Interior of Risom residence


  1. His pieces are classics of the era; what I inevitably picture when thinking of mid-century modern.

    1. He's one of my favorite designers...and what an amazing man he still is at age 98,

  2. Love every piece but that magazine table is beyond gorgeous. Want!

    1. Risom's magazine table, along with the one by John Keal, are the two most beautiful ones to come out of that era, in my opinion.